Even I surprise myself at just how idiotic I can be – whoever schedules a Monday morning for her blog except an idiot? My one brain cell is struggling to remember how to get out of bed and get dressed, much less write a scintillating and exciting blog.

However that said; here is the un-scintillating and unexciting blog – about THE BIG TRIP.


Ankor Wat

Now I’ve called it that as it lasted 64 days and was the last big splurge before we go to the holiday in the sky (or the other place, there is always that possibility).

After much discussion of should we or shouldn’t we, and attending a couple of funerals, we decided to take the plunge.

So, one morning in December we drove up to Madrid, spent the night in the hotel where we were going to leave the car – cheaper rates if you are a guest. Yes, in retrospect it does seem a bit mean to stay one night and then leave our vehicle parked for over two months, but that’s what they offer.


Madrid Airport By Diego Delso, CC BY-SA

We bounced onto the plane the next morning – Quatar Air something and off we flew. Now I must admit to being the very worst companion on an aeroplane. I just LOVE flying, so this means I have to raid the safety regulations, the in-flight magazine and duty free booklet, fiddle with the seat settings, ensure the table is working correctly and unpack all the goodies, blanket, toothbrush and paste, socks, eye shades and headphones.


Soon, my little area of the plane was knee deep in ‘stuff’ I can’t move and I’m invading DH’s space big time. He is beginning to growl and tell me ‘to grow up.’  Sorry, I can’t help it, it’s all so exciting.

Then it’s time to play with the TV screen, pouring through the variety of films, television shows and music on offer. I’m not sure why, but they always seem to provide ear phones for giants, most of the time mine slip down around my knees. However, I managed to fit in 3 full length films before we landed in Kuala Lumpur.

We had further fun with the food tray. OK, so my teeth are not what they were, I used to bite those little plastic packets to get them open. These days I use scissors, but of course, no vicious implements allowed in the cabin, so DH and I resorted wrestling with the plastic knives and forks. No luck. If we were not able to access the food, there was a good chance of us starving to death even before we reached our first destination.

In the meantime it had dawned on me that we might be flying over somewhere dangerous, so I abandoned the film and searched for our route shown on the screen, and then twiddled to find the plane cameras which transmitted from the tail, so I would have early warning if any off-course fighters were approaching.


Finally we arrived at Kuala Lumpur where we had planned to spend the night – in the airport. Yes, that was the price we were going to pay for the cheapest flight and what an exciting place that is at 3am. I’ll continue with that next week.

Time for the history lesson.

Now, not everyone was too excited about Williamanmary being on the throne. In Scotland they quite liked James who was cowering somewhere overseas so they began revolting in Scotland somewhere near Edinburgh in Scotland where the Scots were living at the time.


Today of course they live all over the world and build bridges and roads for undeveloped countries. The Irish too were revolting and INSISTED on holding the Battle of the Boyne.


Battle of the Boyne between James II and William III, 11 July 1690Jan van Huchtenburg.

What was worse, William insisted on ruling, not Mary and she only got a look in while he was away fighting.

But the most memorable thing is that Williamanmary discovered the national debt, so they built the Bank of England to put it in. They knew it would be dangerous to pay it off for fear of upsetting the newly invented balance of payments.



They also introduced stamp duty at the local post offices and raked in more loot by taxing vellum, parchment and paper. They pretended the money was needed to make war on France.

And I am going to show this picture of the two of them again,


as I have just discovered it was painted on the ceiling of the Painted Hall of the Greenwich Hospital. Now that seems a very strange place to have your portrait displayed and I’m beginning to think there was something rather strange about this couple.



How Writers Can Take a Lesson from Late-Blooming Writers…

I now know there are a few other writers around who are in their silver years as someone described it so beautifully described it 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


Excerpt of article by Author J. M. Orend:

Writing is not for the faint of heart. It can take months or even years to create a piece of work, only to have it turned down multiple times for publication.

One way to stay motivated and productive as a writer is to learn about late-blooming authors whose work became better and more recognized later in life. Here are five terrific examples…

Continue reading HERE

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I have lots to blog about THE Big trip, but first I want to share with you my New Year resolutions for 2016. I may be a bit late, but we are only in the second month of the year, and I have already made a great start. So, here goes in no particular order:-

  • Post a stunning new avatar showing me as absolutely drop dead gorgeous.
  • Make the
  • NYT bestsellers list.
  • Receive a movie offer for Amie.
  • Earn millions in royalties from my books.
  • Appear on the Oprah show.
  • Clarke Banner
  • Now I can hear the screams of disbelief from here and some of you are already penning condolence cards, but I can assure you that each one of these is achievable.Firstly I have already booked the plastic surgeon for the facial reconstruction, and I understand if I travel over to London, there are studios where they do amazing things with wigs and make up and so on. There are just so many gorgeous young authors out there with dazzling promo pics – sigh – but I am going to rectify that this year.
  • IMG_4152
  • The NYT list? On our urbanization we have a notice board and my neighbour has said she will mention my books as bestsellers (well 3 of the 5 of them have been, briefly, bestsellers) at the bottom of her New Yearly Tracking report which she will pin up in the little glass box near the dustbins.
  • post boxes and notice board
  • She may also put it in the other information box which has a light in it, so people can read about me at night!
  • other notice board
  • Another kind neighbour has suggested that we make a movie of Amie, and if I star in it – to keep costs down –  and we use the piece of waste ground at the back of the supermarket, that could look just like Africa. He can add the wildlife in with Photoshop later on. We are busy planning this right now.Royalties in the millions? Already I am well on my way to achieving this and it’s only February! And in two currencies, the Vietnamese Dong and the Laotian Kip. Exchange rates as of today is US$1 = 22,382.50 VD.
  • And I have promised to go on the Oprah show, which will be sometime in early June. Oprah runs the local crèche and she asks people in for a ‘show and tell’ on a Monday. Sadly she does not want me to talk about my books, as the little ones can’t read, but could I please show some of my photos from the Big Trip. Ah well, you can’t win them all.
  • Me washing elephants – or rather, trying to….
  • I don’t suppose Ophah’s little ones would be the slightest bit interested in Williamanmary either, but we had got as far as their stage appearance last November.
  • (Not sure what that little angel is doing there, probably better not to ask).
  • The English began to think James was boring and, what was worse, a Catholic, so they invited Williamanmary over from Holland to sit on the throne. And just as a refresher, you may remember that James II ran away when the people got cross with him and this was called the Glorious Revolution and please don’t ask me why. Why? Because I don’t know.Everyone was really happy about this (except maybe James II and his friends), as Mary was a protestor.

    When they had told her she was to marry this William fellow from Holland, she had cried for a full day and a night. He was also a close cousin, which did not bode well either – more inbreeding.

    She was playing cards when she received the news that her father had hopped onto the throne of England and she was now heir presumptive. The doctor was called immediately but there was nothing much he could do for her. Then William surprised her by suddenly telling her he was 4th in line to the throne of England.


Portrait by Sir Godfrey Kneller

So when James legged it they were both offered the throne. Luckily it was a large one and they could just about squeeze on together. William was of course quite keen as it was a huge step up from being Stadtholder in Orange – basically an official – to becoming king of England. The pay was so much better and it came with a nice set of new clothes for the coronation.


10 Trends in Publishing You Need to Know

Good news overall. Do you agree?

Nicholas C. Rossis

Chloe of the Written Word Media published recently 10 trends in publishing that are of interest to every author – particularly Indie ones:

1. Indie authors will continue to take up a growing percentage of the market

Publishing trends | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Image: graphistock

Indie authored books are estimated to compose up to 20% of the book market. They are continuing to take share from traditional publishers, mainly due to their consumer-friendly pricing – indie titles retail at an average price of $2.99 to $3.99, while traditionally published books retail between $7.99 and $14.99.

Readers are factoring price more and more into their purchasing decision and opting for high-quality, lower-priced (usually indie) titles over the more expensive titles put out by traditional publishers. The ability of indie authors to offer their books free, either for a limited time or as an intro to a series, is another advantage indies have over traditional publishers. Free…

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Imaginary Friends – Silas Payton

Really hope to see Silas back with us again soon.

The Quill Pen Writes

Humour me awhile. I’ll tell you a story of ‘Imaginary Friends’ and in particular, one such friend – Silas Payton. That is what Silas himself would refer to us, the members of the IASD Facebook group, as.

Now, it’s fair to say that I never knew Silas personally but, and here’s the crux of it, within our group I believe it is very possible to ‘feel’ each individual after a period of time, simply by how and what they write. We live in a virtual world, almost literally these days, a world governed by high speed this and super-fast that where everything needs to be done yesterday or for some odd reason, it is too late.

So where does Silas and imaginary friends fit into my ramblings? Well, it’s like this you see… Silas Payton is a brilliant writer, he has a talent for stories and as a…

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